It appears Roberto Luongo may have played his last game with the Vancouver Canucks as the veteran goaltender has asked to be traded, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.
Luongo reportedly told the Canucks in his end-of-season meeting with team management that he would welcome a trade after it became clear that Cory Schneider was the Canucks’ goalie of the future.
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) April 26, 2012
Although Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said that he believes Luongo and Schneider can co-exist next season, it’s unlikely either goalie would want to settle for a backup role.
Sometime next week, Luongo — who has a no-trade clause — is expected to give Gillis a short list of teams he is willing to be traded to. Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy confirmed Wednesday that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are on the list.
Despite becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts and leading the team to back-to-back Presidents’ trophies in 2010-11 and 2011-12, the 33-year-old was often faced with criticism from fans and media. The criticism increased following a sub-par performance in the Canucks’ Stanley Cup finals loss to the Boston Bruins last year, and Luongo was replaced after two games this year in the first round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings.
In 386 appearances with the Canucks, the Montreal native posted a record of 224-115-41. Luongo has 10 years remaining on his contract with an annual salary cap hit of $5.3 million.
Luongo was drafted fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 1997 but played only 24 games with the team before being traded, along with Olli Jokinen, to the Florida Panthers in 2000 for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.
While in Florida, Luongo established himself as one of the top goalies in the league, setting NHL records for most saves in a single season in 2003-04 and most shots faced in a season in 2005-06.
Before Luongo’s contract was set to expire in the summer of 2006 — and it was apparent a new deal would not be reached — the Panthers dealt Luongo, defenceman Lukas Krajicek and a sixth-round draft pick to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld.
In 727 career NHL games, Luongo has a record of 339-283-33-50, a goals against average of 2.52 and a save percentage of .919.